Traveling Through Ornaments

With travel close to a standstill this Christmas, many of us may be traveling through memories. For Keith and I, when we travel, we tend to pick up Christmas ornaments as souvenirs. Then each year when I decorate the tree, I can remember back to that magical trip as I place the ornament on the tree! This year, the grandkids helped me hand the ornaments and I was able to tell them stories of our travels.

I took pictures of a few ornaments to share!

The latest!

Our latest ornament is a cool windmill. This ornament came from our latest trip to Elk Horn, Iowa where we toured the Danish Windmill. This magical town along with the sister community of Kimballton represents the largest rural Dutch community in the US! The windmill caught our hearts!

Nottoway Plantation

Last February before life changed and the Pandemic hit, we had a magical trip on the American Queen. One of the grandest stops on our seven day cruise along the Mississippi River was at Nottoway Plantation.  We had to have an ornament to remember this amazing mansion by!

Nottoway Plantation was built by John Hampden Randolph, a cotton planter turned sugar producer.  This three level home has 64 rooms, 200 windows, 6 interior staircases, 22 columns and all for John, his wife Emily and their 11 children! 


One of the most beautiful places I have ever been is Hawaii. A couple years ago we traveled there with my brother and sister in law Craig and Debbie and our friend Curt. We loved this tropical island. One fun stop was the Dole pineapple farm. This pineapple ornament seemed to scream Hawaii!

Overseas Travel

With overseas travel ground to a halt, ornaments from Europe are especially sentimental. There was the trip to Paris for my 50th birthday. Then later we took a trip to Amsterdam, then on the Germany to Agritechnica, the largest farm show in the world! So many memories and sites in the two European overseas trips to Agritechnica. One Keith was able to make, and one he could not because of delayed fall harvest.

Again I picked up ornaments to remember these wonderful times in the countries so steeped in time, and tradition. Some of the ornaments we found in the lovely Floating flower market in Amsterdam!

Trips tied to friends that are gone

One trip to Iowa to the Gathering of the Green offered a tour of the Isabel Bloom factory. My friend Patty Andersen had told me about this wonderful sculptor. Patty was a sculptor that we met through our friend Dan Shima, a Minneapolis Moline collector. Patty and Dan are close to our hearts and we lost Patty this year. This ornament reminds me of that trip, that tour, and, well Patty!

Family trips and more

A couple years ago we went to Tybee Island in Savannah, Georgia, with our daughter Carrie and her family. What fun we had. We bought a Tybee Island lighthouse ornament from that trip. A few years later we went to Jacksonville beach with our son Jason and his wife.

On another trip, mom and I took a bus trip. We stopped at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas. What a beautiful place. He had chickens, I bought a rooster ornament and it reminds me of travel with mom!

Putting up the tree is one of the things that puts me in the holiday spirit! You get the gist. Just trimming the tree was a walk through time. A travel trove through the past reminding me of trips and people I love. These are just a few of the ornaments and places.

What ornaments do you have? Where have you been? I’d love to hear.

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  1. Debbra Dunning Brouillette

    What a nice thing to collect! I loved seeing your ornaments and the stories behind them.

    1. Cindy

      Thanks, it is fun remembering where we have been as we hang them up!